Explore the winter wonderland of Abinger Roughs

Walking trail

Follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin, the famous naturalist who walked on the Roughs in the 1870s. Our trail, at the foot of the North Downs, is easy to follow and perfect for families new to exploring the countryside. Pick up our guided trail leaflet too (from the car park notice board) and discover more about the Roughs.


Abinger Roughs nature trail map


Abinger Roughs car park TQ110480


From the car park take the path through the fence at the opposite end of the car park from the road. You'll walk through some open woodland with some beautiful beech trees - their leaves in spring are a wonderful fresh green colour. Continue to follow the main path through grass. Some 300 yards from the start you will see some magnificent old beech trees on your left hand side. Look out for the Witches Broom tree. Just past here you will go down a small slope and meet a track crossing your path.

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Veteran trees are very old


Following the sandy track you’ll see our 200 year old Scots and Corsican pine trees. We manage this area so that the best specimens grow strongest and tallest.

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Woodland Abinger Roughs Surrey


You’re now standing near a well which provided water for horses and cattle many years ago. The water rises from an underground spring. Today the water table is low and the area is fenced off to stop animals falling into it. Continue along the path.


You have reached the open glade. To your left, over the greensand ridge, rises the Hurtwood (an area of heath and forest). Continue to the edge of the glade and a junction of paths. Take the second fork to the left along a glorious undulating path curving to the right and rising to a path signposted “the Snowdrop Trail”. Follow the path downhill to a gate and then a bench where the path turns sharply right and, if you're lucky, you'll see the bluebells on either side of the path. You'll pass through a gate and, keeping parallel to the hedge on your left, you'll come to a T-junction by an open gate. Turn right here along the rough track and up the slope to the trees.

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Bluebells create a stunning vista in our ancient woodlands


Follow the broad sandy path out to the edge of the wood. Here is a wonderful view of the North Downs. Turn to the right. Here is the most wooded area on the Roughs. You can see three magnificent oak tree pollards. These trees are around 300 years old and have survived from the times when the Roughs were grazed as wood pasture. From this point turn back to face the Roughs, take the path to your left going down the slope keeping a fence on your left hand side.

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Abinger Roughs view towards the North Downs


Continue to follow the signs for the Nature Trail along the ‘Mayor’s path’. See the rhododendrons which were planted years ago to form a wilderness garden by Thomas Farrer, who owned the Roughs in the late 19th century. Follow the path through the rhododedrons until you come out into a wider more open area.

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The rhododendrons at Abinger Roughs are a sign of spring


In this open space, there are some memorials to life here in the past. The old farm to your left is Leaser's Barn which has been used for lambing for centuries. The granite cross is the Wilberforce Memorial. Take a moment to stop and read the inscription. Then walk up the path running past the memorial and head back to the car park.

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Samuel Wilberforce was killed in a riding accident


Abinger Roughs car park TQ110480

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Explore the winter wonderland of Abinger Roughs


Fairly flat terrain with well maintained, but naturally uneven paths which may become muddy in places after wet weather.

Explore the winter wonderland of Abinger Roughs

Contact us

Explore the winter wonderland of Abinger Roughs

How to get here

White Downs Lane, Abinger Hammer, RH5 6QS
By train

Gomshall or Dorking Deepdene stations; Dorking station

By road

Head west from Dorking (A25) to Guildford. Just before Abinger Hammer, at The Crossways, head north up Whitedown Lane (opposite Rakes Lane) - the car park is on left.

By bus

Arriva 22 or 32, alight at bottom of Whitedown Lane (opposite Rakes Lane), then a 20 minute walk up the lane.

Explore the winter wonderland of Abinger Roughs

Facilities and access

  • Car park
  • No toilets
  • Picnic area